Accountability and Governance
The Trust is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Its staff are accountable to a Board of Management, made up of the charity's trustees (who are also its Directors, for Companies House purposes). Since its inception in 2000, the Trust has been anxious that its membership and trustees should represent, as fully as possible, the communities in which it works. To this end the Trust is keen to encourage people who are active in the areas where they live to have a say in how the Trust is working, in their area and in other parts of the city.
As a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, copies of the Trust's Annual Reports are sent to both Companies House and the Charity Commission. The Trust is a membership organisation and its members can nominate to the Board of Trustees. They receive copies of the Annual Report and of the Trust's newsletter, Trust Developments. Legally the Trustees who are also directors of the company, are accountable for the good governance of the Trust.
We are also accountable to the neighbourhoods we work with and our work is continuously subject to monitoring and evaluation through the Trust's internal organisational structures.
The Functioning of the Board of Trustees
The Trust has a Board of Trustees and two Sub-Committees - one dealing with personnel matters and the other with finance. The Personnel & Employment Sub-Committee meets as the need arises and the Finance Sub-Committee (FSC) meets quarterly. The Minutes of Sub-Committee meetings are circulated to the full Board and received by them, and decisions are taken in relation to their recommendations. The Board sets policy, agrees the annual budget (following recommendation from the FSC) and takes decisions on major matters that arise. The Board meets on a two-monthly basis when it receives detailed reports from the Chief Executive on work in progress and opportunities arising, and takes the necessary decisions.
Between Board meetings the Chief Executive makes day-to-day decisions and meets with the Chair to discuss any upcoming issues.
All meetings are minuted so if you are interested in receiving them please send a request to the Trust's Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trustees, recruitment and appointment
A third of the Board of Trustees retires each year by rotation and the retirees are eligible to stand for re-election. Throughout the year, staff encourage people from within the neighbourhoods where they work to take up membership of the Trust, and, as the AGM approaches, to put themselves forward for election to the Board of Trustees. This approach has been generally successfull. Invitations to the AGM are sent to all members and to a wide range of people within the statutory and voluntary sectors. The covering letters encourage non-members to become members, and non-Trustees to consider standing for election to the Board. There is a range of skills represented on the Board, and a good mix of different sections of the community, and no major deficiencies have been identified.
If you are interested in becoming a TDC Trustee please visit our Volunteering page to read how you can become one.
Induction and training of Trustees
Before even standing for election, Trustees are generally fully informed, by way of one-to-one discussion, of the aims and purposes of the Trust's work and potential trustees are only encouraged to stand if they are fully in agreement with these and wish to join collectively in working towards them. Some trustees have been elected at an AGM, following the completion of a nomination form, without prior discussion with current staff or trustees. In that case, the one-to-one conversation will take place as soon as possible afterwards.
All new trustees are provided with background information about the Trust and the responsibilities of being a charity trustee and they are required to sign a form indicating that they have understood this information and are legally entitled to act as a charity trustee.
New trustees are offered a ‘mentor' or ‘buddy' from within the current trustees, to support them through their initial stages of trustee-ship, if they so wish.
The TDC is committed to achieving a high standard of effective performance and good practice. Implementing PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations) ensures that as an organisation, the TDC achieves a recognised standard of quality that will give us confidence in the day-to-day running of our organisation and our operational and strategic aims. It will offer funders a benchmark and a nationally recognised quality standard. It will give our communities the reassurance of our quality systems.
The Trust achieved PQASSO Level 1 in July 2010 and we are currently working towards PQASSO Level 2.